USS Georgia (BB-15)

The USS Georgia (BB-15) was a Virginia-Class battleship, the others being Virginia, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.   She was built by Bath Iron Works in Main with her keel laid down in August 1901.  She was launched in October 1904, and commissioned in September 1906 with Captain Henry McCrea in command.  After here shakedown cruise she joined 2nd Division, 1st Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet and in March 1907 was in Guantanamo Bay conducting gunnery training.  She then steamed to Boston Navy Yard for repairs before joining the Fleet Review, on Georgia Day, at the Jamestown Celebration.  Two days later she headed north for target practice in Cape Cod Bay, arriving on June 15th.  During practice a propellant charge exploded in her art 8-inch turret on July 15th, killing 9 men and wounding 13 others.  Captain McCrea and Rear Admiral Charles Thomas were on the bridge at the time of the accident.


The  postcard at right was issued in commemoration of the fleet's visit to Australia in 1908.

During the trip around the world, Captain McCrea was in command to San Francisco where Captain Qualtrough took command remaining in First Squadron, Second Division.  On July 20, 1908 Captain Henry McCrea died in Brooklyn, he was 57 years old. Georgia was one of the few ships that visited Tangier, Morocco and Marseilles, France.  Captain Hutchins remained in command of Kearsarge throughout the cruise.

Upon return to the States she began a peacetime routine of maneuvers and training including  a naval review by President Taft in November 1910.  She next went to western Europe visiting France and Britain and arrived back on the east coast to conduct training in Guantanamo Bay in March 1911.  For the next two year she did training exercised off of the Atlantic Coast and midshipmen cruises for the Naval Academy.  Following an overhaul in Boston Navy Yard, she was deployed to Mexico to support American interests from January to March 1914.  Afterwards she returned to her training duties on the Atlantic Coast until the outbreak of WWI when she was reactivated and assigned to the 3rd Division, Battleship Force in the York River in Virginia training gunners for the Navy.


During this period the ship frequently had more than 1,000 men aboard despite the having berthing for only 750 creating an over-crowded living condition.  In September 1918 she was assigned as a convoy escort.  Her first trip saw an outbreak of influenza and pneumonia in which 7-men died.  With the signing of the Armistice she was assigned to bring the troops home and made five trips between December 1918 and June 1919 carrying almost 6,000 soldiers.  She was transferred to the Pacific Fleet at the end of the War becoming the flagship of the 2nd Division, 1st Squadron.  She was decommissioned in 1920 and scrapped in 1923 under the Washington Naval Treaty.





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